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Racking?

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Cero

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Hi Guys -

Here's a simple question - I've read a lot about racking on this forum and on other sites. What is it? and more importantly how does it affect the final product?

When I make up a brew - I let the fermentation complete, then I basically prime the bottles with castor sugar and fill them up - that's it.

I'm assuming racking comes after the primary fermenter run?

Confused :huh:
Cero.
 

JWB

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:chug: G;Day Cero

Racking improves the final product and lessens the sediment in bottles..
Its easy to do and once tried you will see the results drink for themselves.

All you require is another fermenter the same capacity as the original and about 2 mtrs of clear food grade plastic tube the same diameter as the inside diameter of you fermenter tap...

after the inital ferment and the foam has gone from the top of the brew...about 4 days...sterilize the other fermenter and the plastic tube and sit the empty fermenter on the floor below the full one...take the airlock out of the full one and put into sterlizing solution or boiled water. now is a good time to do a gravity test ..so open the tap a little and let the first 50ml or so run into a glass and stop it when you notice the whitish yeast has cleared and clearish beer is flowing...thro that sample away and slowly fill your test jar and put to one side....
now push the plastic tube into the inner fermenter tap and make sure it is in there solid...put the end of the tube in the empty fermenter and turn on the tap...make sure the first few liters flow into the bottom fermenter do not splash as we dont want to introduce oxygen ..let it all drain into the bottom fermenter and make sure you stop it before any yeast deposit runs into your racked beer...when all is drained.. put lid on and re sterilize the airlock and put it back in place... do you gravity reading and record the result..leave the racked beer in place for up to 10 days if you want...do another gravity and if its below 1010 its safe to bottle and prime as usual.

Easy isnt it

Cheers :chug:

JWB
 

RobW

The Little Abbotsford Craftbrewery
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There's been a fair bit of discussion about racking on the Grumpy's site where a number of brewers have had problems with stuck ferments after racking at half gravity. The consensus seems to be not to rack until primary fermentation is done, then leave in secondary for another 7-14 days before cold conditioning & bottling.
 

PostModern

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I'd actually recommend racking before the beer is completely finished fermenting. That way it'll still be releasing some CO2 in the secondary fermenter to fill the headspace and help protect the beer from infection.

But still, horses for courses, as they say.
 

Goat

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Is there a way to produce CO2 'artifically' for the head space to get around this hazard and to avoid the risk of a stuck ferment - with DME or something (I guess that was negate the idea of racking in the first place though).

Can you buy disposable cans of CO2 (in like a Mortein type can) to 'spray' the head space ?
 

deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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I've read posts about brewers putting a couple of teaspoons of dextrose into the new fermenter to give the yeast something to make CO2 out of. Never done it myself.
 

Trev

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Goat - re the CO2,

I picked up an old Soda Stream unit for $6 at an Op shop. The CO2 canister was still full. I just unscrewed all the plastic tube to leave the metal probe uncovered.

I give the secondary a shot from it just prior to racking (or at least I used to until I got my kegging system complete with a bloody big CO2 bottle :p )

Trev
 

Murray

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If you were to add something, a little dextrose would be best. Personally I think racking a touch early without additions would be best. When racking at half gravity stuck ferments an be avoided by adding yeast cake, a little dextrose or (most effective) yeast nutrient.
 

JWB

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:D :chug:


For what its worh....my theory is if you rack at half ferment you stir up the brew a little and it will keep on keeping on...personally ive never had a stuck ferment...

As for Co2 on top of the racked brew...I cant comment as again ive never had problems

Maybe my brewing enviornment has something to do with it...never gets above 24 degsC in my brew house...

Lucky aint I..... B) Cheers

JWB
 

Trough Lolly

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I've never sweated on the headspace issue - I rack after seven days (ie, put the brew down one weekend and rack the next). I have never had any dramas with racking to secondary. I just racked a Bavarian Lager this morning - it's gone into the fridge to cold condition at 4C for a couple of weeks before I bulk prime and bottle.

Racking is good - just don't smash or splash the wort around when you do it.

Also, I have followed GMK's advice and bought an pope in-line filter - I used Hallertau plugs and needed it to keep the leaves out of the racking bin - it's the best $8 I've ever spent at Bunnings!! ;)

Had a sneaky taste test this morning too - Beeautifull :D Hope I can wait long enough to let it condition - it tasted great as is!!

Cheers,

TL
 

Yoyo

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Hi Guys, I have jumped forums for the time being cause I'm interested in racking as well, you know, first time racker - long time drinker.

I put my very first brew down yesterday, (see Potential - None. In the active threads) I got the new drum this morning (wife really annoyed, kids worried that they will loose their profit sharing in my OT) and have built a frame to 'drop' one to the other. I will move the primary (I love all these technical words :) ) on thursday or friday and get ready to 'drop' on saturday.

What exaclty is cold brewing or cold conditioning and how long should I leave the brew in the secondary before I bottle. Do I need to add more yeast or dextrose? Is the yeast I can get in packets the same as a yeast cake as mentioned? Is the bottleing process dependant on the SG (IE below 1010)

Do I want the frementing process to keep going in the Secondary?

I assume that the CO2 is needed to keep the O2 out and ruin the brew?

The resident expert at the local brewing supplies told me to add carbonating blocks (which looked like eucalypt lollies really) or should I use castor sugar or plain suger? he also didnt believe in racking, "Why wait?" I remember him saying.

I think I have annoyed everyone else with enough questions for the time being.

Thks for all your help and advice.
 

PostModern

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Yoyo said:
The resident expert at the local brewing supplies told me to add carbonating blocks (which looked like eucalypt lollies really) or should I use castor sugar or plain suger? he also didnt believe in racking, "Why wait?" I remember him saying.
If there is a hole in the front of your head that you call the "beer goes in here" hole, then sure, indeed, why wait? If that hole has a tongue lined with tastebuds that actually communicate with the brain, then you will want to wait.

It might be a bit harsh on your local hardware guy cum beer expert, but there are advantages in racking and conditioning your beer that you will notice once you have tuned your palate. Once you do that, you'll be taking the step from "homebrewer" to craft brewer, most likely tossing the dextrose along the way somewhere too.
 

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